- 22 Jul 2021 2:09 PM
Here’s six refreshing ideas and many recommendations on how to survive summer in the city.
1. Go to a historical bath
Budapest is famous for its thermal waters. There are several historical bath houses on both sides of the river. Don’t worry, most of these thermal baths have outdoor pools with cooler temperatures.
Take a dip at the iconic Széchenyi Bath’s outdoors pools and chill with fellow chess players in the heart of City Park. For another classical bath, check out Gellért Bath’s relaxing cool water pools outside.
There may not be waves this season but you will be surrounded by the Buda hills and an iconic hotel. Not far is Rudas Bath with an outdoor jacuzzi overlooking the Danube and Gellert Hill to enjoy the sunset. Lukacs Bath is also a great option.
It has cool water pools also that are nestled among old buildings and you will find locals relaxing or breast-stroking here.
2. Relax at a lido
If you are more of a beach bum type, Budapest has plenty of outdoor lidos with refreshing water to enjoy. Probably the easiest to reach is Palatinus Lido on Margaret Island right between Buda and Pest. There are several large pools, slides and a special pool that provides “waves-service” every hour.
As Hungary has no land connection to the sea, this is the closest we can get to enjoying some waves. If you are more into swimming than lounging on a floating mattress, the nearby Alfred Hajos National Aquatics Complex is a great option.
You may run into professional athletes there who are training for the Olympic Games in swimming or water polo. This also means that the pools can be temporarily closed for their training.
If you are willing to take a short trip outside of downtown, try Romai Part in the northern part of the Buda side.
Walk along the Danube and enjoy fresh street food and a chill vibe or visit the Romai Lido with slides and several pools in a lush green environment. Venture even further north and swim at one of the pools of the Pünkösdfürdő Lido.
A more laid back and smaller outdoor lido is Dagaly Lido close to Arpad Bridge on the Pest side. A nicely kept garden with several pools will give you some relaxing time before you get back to exploring the city.
The whole family will have a blast at Aquaworld Water Park, which boasts indoor and outdoor pools, several slides, wave and surf pools and fun water activities.
3. Swimming in natural water
A great place to spend an entire day is Lupa Beach. You’ll find a large sandy beach, palm trees, sun loungers and a lot of quality dining options. Enjoy some watersports, SUP, wakeboard or cool off in the lake that used to be a mine.
There is a shuttle service from the Vapiano restaurant by Nyugati train station that takes you to the beach or alternatively you can drive, take public transportation or ride a bike.
While it is not recommended to swim in the Danube river as it can get busy with boats, there is a safe and protected area where you can enjoy this mighty river.
Opened for the summer of 2021, at Sho Beach you can enjoy swimming in the river, relaxing on a lounger and nibbling on gourmet beach food at the pop-up restaurants.
The beach is located in the southern part of Budapest but is accessible with public transportation. Walk along the promenade and admire the highest building of Budapest that is being built here.
4. Cool off in a cave
Did you know that Budapest is the city of caves? Under the ground of the Castle district you will find a maze of caves and cellars that were once connected to each other to serve as shelter, wine storage or as a prison.
The Hospital in the Rock is a unique underground attraction that used to be a nuclear bunker that you can visit on a guided tour and experience a part of the 20th century.
You can cool off in some of the natural caves as well. Explore Palvolgyi Cave that has a constant temperature of 11 Celsius degrees (52 F). Go on a tour and check out the rock formations here or at the nearby Szemlohegyi Cave, where a fairytale world is waiting for you.
Those who are more adventurous can plunge and dive in the Janos Molnar underwater cave. You need to be certified to do so or get your training on the spot.
5. Visit a museum or a church
Old churches naturally have cooler temperatures due to the thickness of their walls. If you want to cool off during your sightseeing in Budapest, just pop in for some divine coolness.
Saint Stephen’s Basilica, the city’s largest church has a lot of interesting details inside, in the basement and you can also have a glimpse from above the dome.
Museums have temperature control, which protects the artworks and visitors alike, especially during the summer months. There are plenty of museums on different themes in Budapest, including classical and modern art, photography, technology, etc.
6. Sights that cool you off
You’ll find some iconic and lesser known attractions in the city that can cool you off. Szabadság square (Liberty square) has a fun outdoor fountain where the water jets move with you as you pass along them. Local children enjoy running in and out of the pool and for sure, you will stop by to freshen up too.
Look for the fire hydrants that were converted into drinking fountains. If you see a blue top on the red fire hydrants, you simply press the button and enjoy some fresh Budapest water.
Find the nearest drinking fountain close to you here.
Margaret island with its trees and pools is a great place all year long. The musical fountain close to the southern end of the island has a light and music show on the hour.
Go up to the Buda hills by the Zugliget Chairlift. Make an excursion out of it and hike under the shades of the trees around Normafa.
Stop for a refreshing lemonade or a special “fröccs” (wine spritzer) or try a delicious rose-shaped ice cream at the many outdoor terraces or just sit down at the park at Erzsébet square (Elisabeth square) and put your feet in the design pool above the Akvarium terrace.
Make sure you are hydrated, wear sun protection and enjoy summer in Budapest!